Cong’s Jharkhand dream may crash as CBI seeks to prosecute eight MLAs

CBI has sought sanction against JMM’s Vishnu Bhaiya,Independents MLAs Chamra Limba,R K Agarwal.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published: May 19, 2013 1:59:16 am

In what could cast a shadow on a section of the Congress’s attempts to form government in Jharkhand,the CBI has approached Jharkhand Governor Dr Syed Ahmed,seeking sanction to prosecute eight MLAs alleged to be involved in malpractice in the March 2012 Rajya Sabha elections.

The legislators include Independents and those from the Congress,JMM and RJD — the potential alliance the Congress was hoping to stitch together to form the government in the state.

The CBI has sought sanction against JMM’s Vishnu Bhaiya,Independents MLAs Chamra Limba and R K Agarwal,RJD’s Suresh Paswan,Janardan Paswan and Sanjay Singh. Congress’s Sarfaraz Ahmad and Anant Pratap Deo are also likely to be named in the CBI’s chargesheet.

The case relates to seizure of cash and use of money power during the 2012 Rajya Sabha polls. The Election Commission had rescinded the elections and held fresh ones. The CBI subsequently registered an FIR last year.

Sources said the latest development could result in problems for the Congress,which is trying to form government in Jharkhand before the expiry of six months. The state is under President’s Rule since January.

With the BJP not inclined to form a government there,the Congress is pinning hopes on its 13 MLAs along with 18 from JMM and five from RJD. Together,they would have a block of 36 MLAs in the 81-member assembly,which requires 41 for majority. Congress managers hope to rope in single member parties and Independents to form the government.

However,a prosecution sanction against eight members from this potential alliance would dent the credibility of the government. The CBI also said that some other MLAs — JMM’s Simon Marandi,BJP’s Umashankar Akela and Congress’s Rajesh Ranjan,Yogendra Sao and Sawna Lakra — are under scanner and a probe is continuing against them. The agency plans to file the first chargesheet against the eight in the next one month and name the other suspects in a supplementary chargesheet.

Industrialist R K Agarwal,who was arrested recently by the CBI,will also be named in the first chargesheet. “Agarwal during his interrogation has revealed few more names who will be quizzed,” said a senior CBI official.

In May last year,the CBI seized electronic gadgets,investment papers,evidence of financial transactions which will be listed as part of the chargesheet. The agency also seized Rs 14 lakh and documents showing huge investments on purchase of land from MLA Chamra Linda.

The CBI registered a case on a reference from the Election Commission which was instructed by the Jharkhand High Court to probe the alleged malpractice in the elections. It had invoked Sections 171 F (undue influence) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of IPC.

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